Twisters blow past ‘flat’ Jets in tourney

For The Republic

VERSAILLES — Friday afternoon’s fifth-place game in the South Ripley tournament is a game that Hauser wants to quickly forget.

The Jets got off to a slow start, and Class A No. 9 Oldenburg Academy took advantage by going on a 21-7 run in a span of 12 minutes to hand Hauser a 46-35 boys basketball loss. It was the Jets lowest scoring output this season.

“We came out flat, we played flat and there was just no emotion in the first half,” Hauser assistant coach Griff Roth said. “That end result was trailing by 14 at the half.”

The Twisters’ top player, Ben Kinker, had an answer for about any type of defense the Jets (4-5) threw at him. He was a dual threat from inside the paint to out on the perimeter and scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.

“We needed to pick up our defensive pressure, and doing so, the guys were doubling down on (Kinker) whenever we had an opportunity, and that caused him a little bit more problem when we had more defensive intensity in the second half,” Roth said.

Even being down 28-14 at halftime, Hauser never showed any signs of quitting. The Jets showed a lot more aggression in the second half and utilized a full-court press that forced Oldenburg (8-1) into turnovers. Hauser held the Twisters to only five points in the third quarter.

The Jets could not find the basket, though, and still trailed 33-20.

Connor Wilson, who was on the bench most of the first half because of foul trouble, had a bucket that kickstarted their biggest run of the game. A.J. Titus drained a 3-pointer, and Alex Gross dropped in a couple baskets that highlighted a 12-6 run to cut the deficit to 39-32.

That was as close as Hauser would get. Oldenburg sank 7-of-10 free throws to seal the Jets’ fate.

“We asked them to play with their hearts in the second half, and they came out and did just that,” Roth said. “They played as hard as they possibly could, and we got a lot better effort in the second half.”

Gross paced Hauser with nine points. Titus finished with eight points, and Mason Sherman and Justin Compton each added seven.